- "He was tall and straight; his hair was of shining gold, his face fair and young and fearless and full of joy; his eyes were bright and clean, and his voice like music; on his brow set wisdom, and in his hand was strength."
- —The Fellowship of the Ring, Many Meetings
Glorfindel, also known as Glorfindel of Rivendell, was an Elf-lord of a house of princes, one of the mighty of the Firstborn.
Originally conceived as a different person from Glorfindel of Gondolin, in later years Tolkien considered naming Glorfindel of Rivendell a reincarnation of the Glorfindel who died during the Fall of Gondolin. His notes indicate he was considering such an explanation, but Tolkien died before deciding whether to incorporate it into his mythology, which is why we have separate entries for the two of them here. (See Glorfindel of Gondolin for more discussion of this.)
Battle of FornostEdit
- "In his final stand, the Witch-King sat upon his black horse before us... As we rode forward, he realized that all hope is lost... His terrifying scream of rage sent the chills of winter to our spines as he turned and fled into the shadows... Earnur struck out to chase him down... But I then realized his power... We thought him as a powerful Black Númenórean but he was a Nazgûl... First of the nine and most fell of the servants of the Dark Lord Sauron... I put up my hand and call out for Earnur... Do not pursue him, he will not return to this land... Far off yet is his doom, and not by the hand of man will he fall."
- —Glorfindel, to Earnur, prophesising the end of the Witch King
During the Battle of Fornost, Glorfindel was the major reason the evil Witch-King of Angmar was defeated. After the battle was over, and the Witch-King had fled, it was Glorfindel who predicted that no mortal man would ever destroy the Witch-King. This prediction would come true a thousand years later at the Battle of the Pelennor Fields, when Éowyn of Rohan (a woman) and Meriadoc Brandybuck (a Hobbit) destroyed the Witch-King.
War of the RingEdit
- "Suddenly into view below came a white horse, gleaming in the shadows, running swiftly. In the dusk its headstall flickered and flashed, as if it were studded with gems like living stars. The rider's cloak streamed behind him, and his hood was thrown back; his golden hair flowed shimmering in the wind of his speed.... it appeared that white light was shining through the form and raiment of the rider, as if though through a thin veil."
- —The Fellowship of the Ring, Flight to the Ford
A thousand years later, Glorfindel helped Frodo Baggins and his companions reach the House of Elrond and evade the pursuit of the Black Riders after Frodo was stabbed with a Morgul-blade. At that time, he rode the white elf-steed Asfaloth. He had considerable healing skill, though not so great as Elrond. A powerful elf, he sat in a position of honour alongside Elrond and Gandalf at the feast to celebrate the subsequent victory at the Ford of Bruinen. He could also have been a member of the White Council. At the Ford when he had almost succumbed to the Morgul-blade, Frodo saw Glorfindel as he appeared in the Undying Lands.
During the Council of Elrond, Glorfindel suggested that the Ring be sent over the Sea or destroyed. Later he suggests throwing it into the Sea, where it would be hidden. At the secret council called shortly afterwards, Gandalf stated that not even Glorfindel would be able to aid the Nine Walkers by securing safe passage to Mount Doom.
After the WarEdit
After the Ring's destruction, Glorfindel, along with Erestor and the sons of Elrond, witnessed the wedding of Aragorn and Arwen. His ultimate fate is not known, but it is reasonable to assume that he eventually sailed to Valinor with the rest of his kin.
Glorfindel is a Sindarin word that meant "Golden-haired": from glaur ("golden") and fîn or find ("lock of hair"). The Quenyan equivalent of Glorfindel is Laurefindil: laurë ("golden") and findilë ("head of hair").
Appearances in the Books and FilmsEdit
In the booksEdit
In the filmsEdit
Portrayal in adaptations Edit
Lord of the Rings film trilogyEdit
In The Fellowship of the Ring, Glorfindel's role in guiding Frodo Baggins to Rivendell is filled by Arwen, though he does appear during the prologue when Sauron is defeated. In The Return of the King, Glorfindel is seen walking next to Arwen as she is having her vision of her son Eldarion during the journey to The Grey Havens. In his last appearance, he is seen at the crowning of King Elessar, behind Legolas and in front of Arwen.
Translations around the WorldEdit
|Foreign Language||Translated name|
|Chinese (Hong Kong)||葛羅芬戴爾|
- There is some controversy about the relationship of Glorfindel of Rivendell to Glorfindel of Gondolin. They were not originally meant to be the same person (an early draft of The Fellowship of the Ring contained a note that "Glorfindel tells of his ancestry in Gondolin"). However, as Tolkien felt that elf names, unlike those of the mortal races, were unique, he decided to find a way to correct his perceived mistake. In his notes, Tolkien indicated his intention to do this by making them the same person, with Glorfindel's spirit having been returned from the Halls of Awaiting by the Valar and re-embodied to be sent to Middle-earth, either in the mid-Second Age or as a companion of the Istari in the Third).
- The fact that he was "of a house of princes" has led to speculation that Glorfindel is the son of Finarfin or one of his descendants (membership in the House of Finarfin would also explain his hair).
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- In the 1978 film of The Lord of the Rings, Glorfindel's part was taken by Legolas when leading the Hobbits and Strider to Rivendell.
- At one stage Tolkien considered whether Glorfindel was one of the Blue Wizards, but he later decided against this.
- In July 2007, 3-D entertainment model producer Gentle Giant Studios, Inc., headquartered in Burbank, California, released an exclusive sculpted Glorfindel bust, limited to 500 pieces, for the 2007 San Diego Comic-Con. Licensed under New Line Cinema's The Lord of the Rings franchise. GLORFINDEL BUST - Gentle Giant Studios
- During the first draft of The Council of Elrond, Glorfindel was among of what was to become the Fellowship of the Ring, along with Durin son of Balin (who later became Gimli son of Gloin) and Trotter (later named Strider or Aragorn).
- ↑ The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring, Book One, Chapter XII: "Flight to the Ford"
- ↑ The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring, Book Two, Chapter II: "The Council of Elrond"
- ↑ The Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King, Book Six, Chapter V: "The Steward and the King"
- ↑ Tolkien, J. R. R. (1988), Christopher Tolkien, ed., The Return of the Shadow, Boston: Houghton Mifflin, ISBN 0-395-49863-5